It all starts with one hour a day. Nothing great is built without this commitment and discipline. Four years ago, I woke up seriously unhealthy. I had spent my entire life serving others. Working ridiculous hours, raising children, helping in my community, helping my family and friends, baking cupcakes, doing other people’s laundry, dusting furniture, paying bills, coaching, driving, cooking, correcting, watching, helping…. “to infinity and back” to quote Buzz Lightyear.
On March 23, 2013 I crashed. I was driving to get my hair cut and realized I didn’t like my life at all. I was overweight, had high blood pressure, terrible interpersonal relationships, double checked on decisions I was making, had no self-love, appreciation or confidence. I had become the person who everyone first asked for help from. I was the first one to jump if the fire bell rang. I was the “drop off” AND “pick up” parent. I was the doer and very good at it. I was an expert in being selfless. It had become my identity. It was slowly killing me. I was giving more than I was receiving and my wellness bank account was in serious default and going more into the red every day.
As I was sitting in the chair, watching the hair I loved fall on the floor because someone I cared about, made a comment “woman my age shouldn’t wear their hair long.” I actually took their opinion as fact and handed them the power to influence a decision I made. One which I was neither comfortable with or agreed with (my grandmother had the most beautiful long hair and one of my favorite memories as a child was brushing each other’s long hair); yet here I was doing it to make them happy.
I decided that day to take my life back. To learn how to say no, detach with love and be the person who I had been avoiding since Jr. High School; when approval seeking first raised its ugly head. This was so easy at first. I attacked it like I attacked every goal I had ever had.
I made a plan, a detailed schedule, hours of activity, fridge full of healthy food, fancy health club membership, stickers to reward my progress. Told everyone I knew, what I was doing. I had wrote the book on accomplishing the difficult, so I believed it would be easy to do this, right?? WRONG! So, wrong.
Selflessness and giving (not to mention sugar, salt and TV watching) becomes an addiction and a great…